How To Build DIY Kitchen Cabinets

European style frameless upper cabinets are easy to build with the right tools, are affordable and are used for a variety of projects from kitchens, to bathrooms, offices and more. However, during this recent economic downturn, people are looking for ways to save money, and melamine is a viable option, if used correctly. Oh sure, there are ‘fixes’ that will make them look more modern than they currently do, but they won’t be completely modernized unless they are professionally refaced (new fronts). Melamine and veneer tapes, with heat sensitive glue, are a common item in most woodworking stores.

Your MELAMINE doors & panels are manufactured from the highest quality materials and designed to provide years of trouble free service. If you haven’t already, it may help to take a look at our cabinet glossary page to get familiar with some of the terms you’ll encounter along the way. Part of the reason was because it was less expensive and then some also perfer the clean look of the smooth surface available in the melamine sheet goods. The square pieces should be same width and height as the exterior dimensions of your cabinet. Enjoy your new RTA cabinet project from start to finish, order from Barker Cabinets today!

Nowdays we have it special made or make it ourselves by gluing up staves, planing, sanding and then using thick, custom cut veneers, vacbagging up the panels. Even though flush solid wood edges add durability, they take away from the labor-savings of using melamine in the first place. After drilling holes at each of the corners, use a saw (see below) to cut both the cabinet back and the drywall behind carefully. We include advice on choosing and installing kitchen countertops, cabinets, and kitchen or bathroom flooring, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures and fixture controls such as faucets.

Our cabinets utilize a frameless and full overlay RTA cabinet construction method This results in a seamless and high end design that is impossible to rival using outdated construction methods. The melamine is on the inside part of the cabinet and the wood veneer is on the outside of the cabinet box. PANELS-ONLY A very economical solution for the experienced Handyman who may just want basic cabinet materials cut into Panels in specified sizes. Cabinet drawers are predominantly made from the same materials that are used to construct the cabinet cases such as particle board, MDF, plywood and solid wood. Remove the fences from your Kreg Shelf Pin Jig and place it at the bottom of the cabinet as shown.

However, traditional-style solid-wood cabinetry is more expensive and many consumers opt for cabinets that incorporate particle board or plywood to reduce costs. Dana and Ryan did a FAB job of mixing textures and finishes that totally camouflage the original oak details on these cabinets. Older visible hinges requiremore skill to install, but on heritage cabinets these are often the best choice.


Another specialty screw called Confirmat is designed specifically for joining MDF or particleboard without glue, and though they also require pre-drilling, Confirmat screws make joints much stronger than ordinary screws do. Confirmat screws can also be removed, allowing joints to be taken apart easily for transport. For visual continuity, always specify the exterior material to be used on glass door cabinet interiors. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to staining it would is that the color of the wood also affects the end result. For this reason, most of the better cabinets today are sealed with a catalyzed conversion varnish.

Find out how I transformed my kitchen cabinets from old and dated to modern and fresh with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit all for under $100. I planned on building all the doors in one weekend, but come to find out… kids are very good at distracting you and needing your attention. Interiors can even be stained to match the exterior finish, allowing for a uniform look for open shelving, cabinets with glass doors and slide-out trays and drawers. I’ve done the RTA cabinets and the only downside is the cost of the RTA hardware and the time to get everything perfectly aligned.

European design features such as the hidden hinge, adjustable shelves, bottom mounted drawer glides, and adjustable cabinet legs are now an important part of the North American cabinet making industry. Gluing solid wood edging to sheet goods edges is a more craftsman-like approach, and a table saw is the tool for cutting lumber into the strips you’ll need. Marking your scribe line on the textured tape is also much easier than marking the smooth surface of the melamine panel.

If you aren’t too happy with the current state of your cabinets and want to downplay the oak allure then you will want to choose a warm paint colour. But it’s still better to build the face frame a little bigger (about 1/16 in.), and trim it off with a flush trim router bit. Particle board quality depends on the size of the particles that make it up, the glue that holds it together, and the density of the board. Unlike the frames, many of the doors and drawers are solid with good quality wood veneer. The white interiors were attractive, cleanable and did not require the use of liners on shelves and drawers. Better cabinets include separate toe kick platforms that span several cabinets.

This is how I figured it out…I just took a scrap piece of wood and I started marking some circles in the LR32 holy rail with the 9.5 mm setting and flipped the same to make sure the euro cup hinge will sit right in the middle between the 32 mm so that the door align properly and it exactly did. Then I filled the holes and the cracks with wood putty to get a seamless and smooth finish. Better quality cabinets use plywood for cabinet panels, shelves, and drawer bottoms.

Gary, I hope you did not take any of my comments as disparaging your methods at all – I wish my clients wanted the best at any price, it’s just that I’ve found a part of the market that I can make a good living at. I still pride my self on building quality cabinets. This thin, sometimes synthetic material is made either to look like wood grain or with colors that match factory-finished melamine sheets. The first thing we noticed about working with melamine over plywood was the bad cut lines.

I am not sure what you mean on the base proportion – the frames of each unit are the width of the cabinets, and the height of the cabinets was just what I got from the store. Polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue) will make a stronger joint, but the joint must be clamped very tightly during curing because the glue expands, and there is considerable squeeze-out to clean up afterward. Don’t make the mistake of using the same solid color melamine for the box interior on a glass or open cabinet configuration as you do on cabinets with doors. I don’t want to fill up kitchen cabinets with all my heavy dishes and things and have to worry about the weight!